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This was how the Jets kick coverage team lined up:
42 Rashad Washington 15 Wallace Wright 1 Mike Nugent 16 Brad Smith 26 Erik Coleman
96 David Bowens 45 Stacy Tutt 55 Brad Kassell 53 Cody Spencer 52 David Harris 81 Justin McCareins
The New York Jets ran a stacked kickoff, with their safeties and gunners hidden behind their wedge busters and contain players. Washington, Nugent, and Coleman are the safeties. Bowens (!) and McCareins are outside contain. Kassell and Spencer are the wedge busters, Smith and Wright are the gunners, and Harris and Tutt are inside contain.
The stacked kickoff is designed primarily to get the gunners downfield quickly, protecting them from frontline blocks by running them in the same lanes as the wedge busters. The wedge busters are supposed to get them into the wedge, where the gunners either tackle the returner or force him wide into the contain players. Inside contain players generally aim for just outside the wedge, pending any returner shenanigans. Outside contain is supposed to constrict the field of play and protect the sideline alleys. Safeties trail the coverage wave at 10-15 yards in a cover 3 look. Gunners and inside contain make the majority of tackles in this scheme.
Now the Pats:
84 Ben Watson 52 Eric Alexander 53 Larry Izzo 46 Corey Mays 24 Mel Mitchell
44 Heath Evans
90 Le Kevin Smith 61 Stephen Neal 58 Pierre Woods
23 Willie Andrews
27 Ellis Hobbs
Note: On Hobbs' touchdown return, Le Kevin Smith was in for Kyle Brady, who was the left side of the wedge for the earlier and later kickoff return. Brady also was the first teamer at this position on kickoff return during the pre-season.
The Pats run a 1-5-3-1 kickoff return, and have been running it for some time. One of the outside players in the front line, in this case Mel Mitchell, runs to the middle of the field, harassing who he can along the way, and throws an inside-out block on the backside safety, in this case Erik Coleman. This is the touchdown block because it opens the end of the "wall" the Pats are building down whichever side of the field the return is going to.
You can see in this picture that one frontline player, Heath Evans, is set back from the others. This is for onside kicks. Mitchell and Watson are the other "hands" members of the frontline, stationed at the ends of the line.
The wedge aims for the hash mark on the side the return is called to, and the returner runs out towards the numbers, a standard return scheme. In this case this return was called to the left. The first return (in the second quarter) was called right.
(Note: In the picture in this post, Mitchell is shown currently harassing Nugent. He blocks Coleman [to his right at the 40] shortly thereafter.)
The remaining five frontline players block inwards from left to right: Watson blocks in on inside contain player Tutts, Alexander blocks in on gunner Wright, Evans blocks on wedge buster Kassell, Mays blocks fellow buster Spencer, and Larry Izzo blocks gunner Smith. These are difficult open field blocks, and they don't slow down the coverage as much as they shift the coverage lanes away from the return.
The wedge, meanwhile, travels from right to left, towards the hash with the wall. The only player to the outside of the wall is outside contain player David Bowens. On the other side of the field, contain players Harris and McCareins are allowed to go unblocked. Willie Andrews, who leads Hobbs into the wedge, has his first responsibility to the backside; if either contain player is too close to the wedge, Andrews has to pick him up to stop them from chasing the play down. Otherwise, the return scheme gambles that Hobbs can beat backside contain around the wedge and up the other side of the field, eluding playside contain player Bowens.
Last edited by unoriginal; 09-10-2007 at 11:49 PM..
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You've probably by this time heard the old coverage adage, "Stay in your lane." Here the Jets do not stay in their lanes. David Harris, backside inside contain, is far too close to Justin McCareins, who has outside contain. Harris should be closer to Cody Spencer, the backside wedge buster, than any other teammate. It is actually difficult for me to say what, if anything, David Harris is doing out there. The Jets are basically a man down on this play because David Harris is chasing Justin McCareins down the field.
David Bowens, playside outside contain, is way too far outside. He should be much closer to Stacy Tutt, who is faster downfield, and in his correct lane, despite being harassed by Ben Watson. The gap between Bowens and Rashad Washington (unblocked at the 30 yd hash) is the gap Hobbs will spring through for the touchdown.
Also highlighted on this pic is the TD block now being thrown by Mel Mitchell on Erik Coleman.
Here we see the outcome of the poor lane choices by the Jets backside. That's 4 different Jets (McCareins, Harris, Spencer, Smith) trying to run Ellis Hobbs down from behind the wedge. Only McCareins belongs there.
Compare and contrast the play of wedge buster Cody Spencer (3) with Brad Kassell, who demolishes Pierre Woods, Stephen Neal, and Willie Andrews in one fell swoop. Cody Spencer, cutting off the back end of the wedge, only succeeds in demolishing David Harris (2), his teammate.
Larry Izzo is marked here as one of two frontline players (the other being Mel Mitchell) to successfully hold and finish their blocks on this play. Izzo prevents gunner Wallace Wright from following behind Brad Kassell playside and doing some damage.
In the foreground you can see Le Kevin Smith, the sole survivor of the wedge, leading on Stacy Tutt. Watson, who was blocking Tutt, is turning upfield along with Evans and Mays to form a moving wall up the hash.
In the bottom left, you can see the outcome of Le Kevin Smith vs. Stacy Tutt. Tutt will actually end up halfway outside the numbers. Watson, first person in the wall, is engaging Rashad Washington, playside safety, while David Bowens is trying to get into the hole from way outside. Having beaten backside pursuit, Hobbs' only task here is to beat outside contain to the outside. Who is faster, David Bowens or Ellis Hobbs?
Hobbs is. Evans leads on the last unblocked Jet (Nugent) while Mays heads upfield from Mitchell, who is still holding his block. Impressively, Willie Andrews is up off the turf and rejoining the play, as is Le Kevin Smith, who naturally makes very wide right turns upfield.
Last edited by unoriginal; 09-11-2007 at 12:28 AM..
Shown here are the last two blocks on the play. Erik Coleman finally disengages downfield from Mel Mitchell, and is picked up by Corey Mays, leaving Willie Andrews (trailing at the 30) free to hold hands with Ellis and skip into the end zone.
Meanwhile, Le Kevin Smith finishes Heath Evans' angle block on Mike Nugent by steamrolling him. The body language of Mike Nugent is telling you he is in a place he doesn't want to be right now.
A big thank you to folks at CBS for actually providing a workable replay shot, from an endzone cam no less.
Last edited by unoriginal; 09-11-2007 at 12:34 AM..
Nice film breakdown.
The bottom line is that the Pats ST unit executed the play almost perfectly and Hobbs is a very explosive returner.
I like the look of our ST this year. ;-)
Oh yeah, grats on setting the record Hobbs. That's real nice.
Pats NEW LOOK Offense
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